FGF-21 stimulates thermogenesis in fat cells

  • Fat cells are generally known as fat storage depots but the last few years there is tremendous interest in fat burning in fat cells themselves, as opposed to the traditionally known fat burning in muscles and liver.
  • Fat burning fat cells are called brown fat cells, taking their name from their darker colour (as opposed to white fat cells which only store fat), and research has focused on how to boost their population in order to control obesity.
  • However, it was recently discovered that a protein called FGF-21 (Fibroblast Growth Factor 21) can stimulate fat burning in white fat cells, without the need of brown fat cells or the "browning" of white fat cells, which only occurs after exposure to cold, intense exercise or with certain drugs / herbal extracts.
  • It is still early days, but this discovery can lead to the development of drugs and the discovery of natural agents that can help burn fat in actual white fat cells, which comprise 99% of fat cell population in humans.
  • This can lead to effective fat and cellulite reduction and it is a really exciting development.
  • Source: Pharmacologic Effects of FGF21 Are Independent of the "Browning" of White Adipose Tissue, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25955208/